Small Potatoes Blog

WordPress Plugins to Grow Your Potatoes

My blog is seriously small potatoes, at least as far as audience size. It’s HARD WORK growing a blog. I appreciate finding useful advice on how to improve my blog to make it more user-friendly, noticeable, and shareable. I like my advice in bite-size chunks. I don’t have time to waste on long-winded, I’m-so-great-and-make-lots-of-money-so-you-should-PAY-me-to-teach-you bologna.

Numbers have never been my priority. Blogging is a ministry tool to share my struggles with mental illness and faith to encourage others. With my first little blog it was mostly just putting it out there and trusting God that He’d lead people there as needed. Now I’ve entered a new season. And I have to say this one takes a lot more work. The connections I’m making continue to be beautiful and humbling, but I’m putting in many hours for very little growth, and basically no income. I still feel conflicted about monetizing my blog, though I know that it’s what I’m supposed to do.

So, if you’re a small blogger like me who is ready to grow your audience, here are a few useful WordPress plugins to grow your small potatoes.

If you're a small potatoes blogger like me, here are a few WordPress plugins to grow your blog. Click To Tweet

My New Favorite WordPress Plugins to Grow Your Potatoes Blog

Wordpress Plugins to Grow Your Small Potatoes BlogBetter Click To Tweet

If you use Twitter, Better Click to Tweet is an easy way to increase your presence… because it’s an easy way for your readers to quickly and conveniently share your posts. You get to hand-pick interesting, useful, attention-grabbing quotes that give people a taste of your content and personality. What’s not to love?

If you aren’t on Twitter, you should consider it.

Here’s a warning about Better Click to Tweet: Make sure your quotes are short enough! Think of it as making sure your potatoes have the well-drained soil they require for growth (and if we weren’t just talking about plugins, that would be a great analogy for editing… I know I’m not the only one who can drown my potatoes posts in too many words).

Rule of thumb: If, when you preview your post for publishing, the scrumptious tidbit you’re offering your audience to share with others ends with… an ellipsis, a suspension point, dot-dot-dot, or whatever you want to call it, you need to, um, do some pruning.

Yoast SEO

Let me say right up front that I am NOT using Yoast to its full potential. Here’s why I chose to reinstall it after it frustrated me on first try: it’s a super-easy way to verify Rich Pins if you’re not tech- and coding-savvy. For me, it wasn’t about SEO, it was all about the Rich Pins.

Here’s more of what Yoast SEO can do for you, or at least what it has done for me, and I only use the free version:

It not only allows me to craft a snippet, or meta-description, it encourages me to. Our first lines aren’t necessarily the best to let people know what our post is all about and why they should read it. I mean, consider the first sentence of this post… Go ahead, scroll up and back of you’d like… It’s all about ME; I want potential readers to know it’s all about THEM, too. YOU!

It gives me the option to choose a keyword for SEO (If you’re a small blogger still wondering what SEO is, it’s search engine optimization, or Hey! How can I get Google to notice me and share my links with people?!?) and tells me how well my post is crafted to be considered as an option when people search for that keyword. And here’s a way in which I’m just not great at using Yoast optimally. Choosing a keyword for they way I write in the niche in which I write typically leaves me thinking, Ummm…

It shows me how easy my vocabulary is to read, and things like whether or not titles, content, etc. are a good length.

It lets me set a different image to be displayed on Facebook or Twitter if I don’t want to use my featured image.

And other things, I’m sure… 🙂

If you want to know more about how to set up Rich Pins, check out this helpful this post from Melyssa Griffin.

Wondering what Rich Pins are? Here’s what Pinterest has to say about them. You’ll need a business account, which sounds more intimidating and, um, excessive? than it did to me as a no-name, small-potatoes blogger who doesn’t use Pinterest as a MARKETING platform… but, wait! As bloggers, we DO.

CommentLuv

Want to share the love your blog is getting? Here’s a plugin to grow your friends’ blogs, too! CommentLuv. What’s not to love Luv about that?!? CommentLuv allows other bloggers to automatically include a link to their most recent post. So, if one of your readers is intrigued by another blogger’s comment, or finds it useful or encouraging, they can see the title of your commenter/fellow blogger’s most recent post and have the option to click over and read it.

Again, yes, I only use the basic, free version. It’s going to take me quite a while to even break even on this blogging thing!

Want an easy way to share your blog love with your blogger friends? Click To Tweet

What about you?

What are your favorite WordPress plugins to grow your audience and make your blog more useful for them? How about make your blogging life easier?

I’d love to hear from you. I’m always excited to learn what works for other bloggers! Learning curve, steep; time to learn, limited.

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